EFL announces release of £50m short-term relief fund to aid clubs amid coronavirus pandemic

Football League clubs have been promised help in dealing with cash-flow issues and the Leasing.com Trophy final has been postponed

The English Football League has approved the release of a £50 million ($58m) fund to help clubs deal with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak which has seen the 2019-20 season suspended indefinitely.

All EFL fixtures were postponed until April 3 last Friday, with the Premier League also shutting up shop in light of the recent government measures put in place to contain the spread of Covid-19.

It has been suggested that the current season could be voided completely if the crisis continues, but the EFL are determined to see the remaining games finished at some point over the next few months.

Football League board members met this week to discuss how best to move forward, and will now provide short-term relief for all clubs being affected by the enforced break.

The EFL made an official announcement on Wednesday confirming an interest-free loan scheme and the early release of award payments, and made it clear they are fully committed to making sure that the season reaches its conclusion.

“As part of the League’s continued contingency planning, the board heard the comments and observations from EFL clubs, before discussing a number of issues including the current financial position and implications, insurance, regulatory matters and broadcasting arrangements,” the EFL said in a detailed statement.

“Discussions centred on financial relief for clubs in the short term and while there is no one single solution, measures are to be put in place to immediately assist with cash flow via a £50m short-term relief package.”

“This fund consists of the remaining Basic Award payments being advanced to clubs immediately, with the remainder made up through interest-free loan facility available to clubs, calculated in line with the EFL’s Article of Associations.

“The cash injection is included as part of a series of measures, that includes potential government support to help clubs and their associated businesses through this period of uncertainty.

“The primary objective, in order to protect competition integrity, is to deliver a successful conclusion to the 2019/20 season, subject to the over-riding priority around health and well-being.

“The EFL is continuing regular dialogue with the government and relevant health authorities and, as and when more information is known regarding the scale and extent of the coronavirus outbreak in this country, a decision will be taken on the resumption of the Leagues fixtures.”

The EFL also revealed the postponement of The Leasing.com Trophy final clash between Portsmouth and Salford City, which was originally due to be held on April 5.

They explained their decision by saying: “This is appropriate given the scale and significance of the event to the football calendar, new sponsor Leasing.com, the EFL, both Clubs involved and their supporters.

“Over 50,000 tickets have been sold for the showpiece final, and the EFL does not want to be in a position whereby many thousands of supporters are forced to change their plans at late notice, so the decision has been taken in the best interest of all parties.”